Archive for Parent’s Corner

College Success: Making College Count

It sounds simple enough, but what does it mean?

It’s all about making your college experience a launching pad to help take you where you want to go. I’ll grant you that this might sound a little lofty, but when you boil it all down, that’s really why you’re here.

There “where you want to go” part is, for many students, one of the most challenging pieces of the entire puzzle. It should be. It’s incredibly difficult to decide what you want to do for 50 hours a week for the next 40 years before you actually go do it.

Choosing a direction is not impossible though – and you will have to do it eventually. So do the homework now and make a decision. If you do, you’ll be in a much better position to make a plan and actually begin making it a reality. If you just can’t sort it out, keep working at it. Go to the library. Get on the Web. Talk to professors about areas of interest. Be creative, and find ways to talk to people who work full-time in the field. Remember, you’ll have to make a decision at some point. Doing it sooner, not later, can offer some significant advantages.

Regardless of the field you choose (and even if you still don’t know exactly what that is), this weekly feature can help get you “where you want to go.” It will look at college in a way you may not have seen before – through the eyes of a future interviewer. Whether you plan to go to work or to grad school, the recruiter evaluating you will be looking for specific traits in deciding whether or not you’ll get the nod. Making College Count will familiarize you with these “Winning Characteristics” and help you to make a plan to develop them. It will put you in a position to prove that you deserve the opportunity the recruiter has to offer.

Advice for College Parents

So your child is going to college. Commence worry about everything from how to pay for it to will my child be able to adjust to the new environment and work load. Whether you went to college yourself or not, it is a new and different world out there, and chances are unless you are a college professor or have older children already in college, you don’t know what you or your child can expect. How in the world will you know what your student is going through and how to advise them when they call and ask for help?

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Graduation Prep

Chances are you’ve already purchased/rented your cap and gown and are getting ready to send out your graduation invitations. You may even be planning graduation parties and are looking forward to some graduation gifts. Or you may be the friend of a soon-to-be graduate. You could be the one receiving the graduation invitation, throwing the graduation party or the one having to purchase the graduation gifts.

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High School Graduation Gift Alternatives

It’s high school graduation gift season! You are probably the kind of person who wants to get your graduate a gift they will enjoy instead of an ill-thought-out gift card. So I have compiled a list of great high school graduation gifts I would like to receive that are a bit outside the box.

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How Much to Spend on a High School Graduation Gift

You are looking to give a high school graduation gift, but have no idea where to start.  You don’t even know how much to spend on a high school graduation gift.  Sure it’s the thought that counts when it comes to giving a gift, but you want to give something meaningful too.  As I wrote about in Not Again Part 1 and 2, you may want to go with some not-so-common gift ideas, but even so, how much do you spend?  I’ve broken it down by degree of relationship here. Read more

Don’t wait until it’s too late

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start looking for a good high school graduation gift for the high school senior in your life. Now is the time to begin thinking who you will be giving high school graduation gifts to. As I talked about in the last post, making a list now may save you some heartache later.

If you start early, you won’t make the mistake of getting your high school graduate a bad gift. You don’t want to be the person who gives the photo album (we have digital cameras and therefore have digital photo albums—your gift will swiftly tossed into the trash), a laundry bag, or a book designed for children that won’t help us any in our next step (and we will probably get a couple of copies of this one, so you are not alone if you have made this mistake before).

Making College Count is not outdated (the new version is out now) as a photo album may be, is useful, but less boring than a laundry bag, and infinitely more valuable than a children’s book. Making College Count makes a great high school graduation gift because it provides tips and tricks for achieving college success.

So this year, don’t wait until the last minute to make the list of who you need to get high school graduation gifts for, and while you are at it, get them something that will help them in college and beyond—Making College Count.

The Real Cost of College Part 2

So you know how much you and/or your family can spend on college and you know about scholarship opportunities at the schools you are considering. That’s it…right? Wrong! The price of college is not tuition alone, and if you don’t plan accordingly, your dream school could end up discarded from your list like last night’s smelly left-overs.

Tuition ≠ cost of attending college. (For those of you having trouble recognizing that symbol, it is the does not equal sign). College costs far more than what the fliers advertise. So as you are researching where you would like to attend, don’t forget to look at the hidden costs of college. While many schools quote you a tuition that sounds reasonable, how much are the fees? Read more

The Real Cost of College Success Part 1

College success is not achieved overnight, and part of preparing is the college search itself. While you are looking at the college websites or maybe even making a few visits, sit down with your parents and talk about the cost of college.

You may be fortunate enough to have parents who will pay for college for you, or pay for much of the cost. Or you may know you will take on student loans to pay for your education. Whatever the case is, have a solid number in mind and direct your search accordingly. While an expensive private school in a far-away land may sound ideal, if there is another, equally great school closer by that fits in your price range, don’t even look at the one you know there is no way you will ever afford. You will just be miserable later when you are faced with the reality of a top-choice school on your list that you cannot attend. But be aware of scholarships and financial aid. Is the school you are researching known for being generous with the scholarship or aid dollars? Are they need based or need blind? Do you even know what merit verses need-based scholarships are? Well, now is the time to get ahead of the curve and discover the real cost of college.

Start the college search off on the right foot and you pave the way to college success!

Campus Safety and College Success Go Hand-In-Hand

Campus safety may not be the thing you are most concerned about when you are looking at where to attend college, or while you are along for the college selection journey as a parent, but it is something you ought to consider. If you are not in a safe and welcoming environment, it will be much harder to achieve college success.

While you are on campus or looking at a college’s website here are some tips regarding what you should look for in campus safety. Read more

FERPA

Parents—while your child was in high school, you had the privilege to access school records, but did you know that all that changes when your student goes to college? That’s right—the same law that governs parental disclosure of academic records for high school students, gives college students nearly exclusive control of their records. The law is called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or “FERPA,” and applies to all schools that receive funding from an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. Here is some basic information you may want to know as your student prepares to go to college.

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